AP Pic Saint-Loup is both a designated wine-making appellation and monolithic
limestone ridge rising up above the surrounding, relatively wild lands covered in
fragrant vegetative scrub (locally known as ‘garrigue’) – including an abundance
of thyme, rosemary, juniper and indigenous, wild grape vines sprawling across
13 municipalities and about 5800 hectares.
20 km inland from the Mediterranean shores of Southern France, this region
lies within the province of Languedoc and is a transition point from coastal plain
to the higher, inland plateau. The resulting character sees a split into 2 differing
climate zones/terroirs: one, allowing the heat-loving grapes such as Mourvèdre
to grow at lower altitude; the other, encourages Syrah and Grenache to thrive
further up. For this week’s DéClassé recommended bottling, it’s a 60%/40%
blend of the latter varieties. In both cases, the conditions conspire to yield fruit
that’s more elegant and somewhat more refined than from the nearby, hotter
plains. In most cases though, the offerings from Midi remain a bargain-hunters
treasure with beautiful, earthy and complex wine available at modest prices.
Ever since the Roman invasion of Gaul about 2,000 years ago, certain regions
have had a head start, both for developing wine making techniques and in the
establishing of desirable reputations for marketing their output. Remarkably,
this part of France still has the caché of being less-discovered territory where
vintners and consumers are being rewarded by the continuing elevation of their
standards and the exploration of modernized techniques.
As you are now also ‘in-the-know’ about this Gold Medal winner at the Concours
de Grands Vins du Languedoc-Roussillon in 2012, hit the store now, as it’s
likely to sell out within another couple of days!
DOMAINE LAMBRUSQUES ESPRIT SAUVAGE 2011
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #354142 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Midi, France
By: Les Vins Aujoux Sas
Release Date: Feb 15, 2014
This medium to full-bodied wine is a smooth display of dark fruit flavours with
some of the expected, subtle notes of mocha, spice and pepper. Try this with
rack of lamb, risotto of all sorts, pasta bolognese and hard cheeses.